Form vs. Function

pilates brücke prone head lift übung kritik

[cs_content][cs_element_section _id=“1″ ][cs_element_row _id=“2″ ][cs_element_column _id=“3″ ][cs_text class=“cs-ta-justify“]I would like to critically discuss the 2 so-called Pilates exercises, which I saw in the Austrian daily tabloid “Österreicher” (4.11.18) as a series on a new Pilates book. The 2 exercises presented under the heading “Strong and pain-free“, are called Bridge and Prone Head Lift.
Let us start with the problems in the description of the Bridge.[/cs_text][x_custom_headline level=“h2″ looks_like=“h3″ accent=“false“ style=“text-transform:none!important;padding-bottom:10px;“]The things that can go wrong with the Bridge[/x_custom_headline][x_image type=“none“ src=“https://bodyhood.christopherrapp.at/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Bridge_eng._web.jpg“ alt=“Pilates Power Konzept Körper Geist Bewusstsein Training“ link=“false“ href=“#“ title=““ target=““ info=“none“ info_place=“top“ info_trigger=“hover“ info_content=““][cs_text class=“cs-ta-justify“]In phase 2 of the exercise description it says: “Press your feet on the mat and activate your gluteus and abdominal muscles.”

Firstly, when you press your feet on the mat as described, your body weight will undesirably shift to your head instead of over your pelvis and thigh; which is evident in the photograph of the article.

Secondly, if you happen to be one of those people with hypertonus in your hamstring, you will most probably get a cramp in this area because you will try to support the lift with your hamstring instead of your bottom.

Thirdly, after having pressed your feet on the mat, the article says to activate your gluteus and abdominal muscles. But if your hamstring is already carrying the weight of the lift (due to pressing your feet on the mat), your gluteus will abduct instead of desirably adduct in their contracting activation.

And considering the abdominal muscles, it is not made clear that it is the deep abdominal muscles that should work, and not the superficial abdominals, such as the rectus and external obliques.

How to get out of this bodily mess?[/cs_text][x_custom_headline level=“h2″ looks_like=“h3″ accent=“false“ style=“text-transform:none!important;padding-bottom:10px;“]Get these disturbing patterns out of the way

[/x_custom_headline][x_custom_headline level=“h2″ looks_like=“h3″ accent=“false“ style=“text-transform:none!important;padding-bottom:10px;“]Get disturbing patterns out of the way[/x_custom_headline][cs_text class=“cs-ta-justify“]For this exercise to do what the title of the article “Strong & pain-free” suggests, we need a new mode of work. We need to

1. establish a neutral pelvic position; our pelvis is neither tilted downwards nor upwards.
2. activate our DMCS (deep muscle corset system) to lengthen and then lift.[/cs_text][x_image type=“none“ src=“https://bodyhood.christopherrapp.at/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/1525-Kopie_webCut.jpg“ alt=““ link=“false“ href=“#“ title=““ target=““ info=“none“ info_place=“top“ info_trigger=“hover“ info_content=““][cs_text class=“cs-ta-justify“]

Be careful to lengthen through your DMCS instead of cortically pressing your feet onto the mat. The lengthening of your body through the DMCS is essential because as a result your feet will reflectively ground onto the mat. And as a further consequence the back of your head will lengthen and your chin will drop closer to your chest, which will give your shoulder girdle space to move.

Unfortunately, unlike shown in the picture of the article, in which the back of the head shortens and the chin moves away from the chest.

If, by the way, you wish for an exact description of the deep muscle corset system activation – your DMCS – please follow the link above.

Now, let us have a look at the Prone Head Lift, or shall I rather call it the…

[/cs_text][x_custom_headline level=“h2″ looks_like=“h3″ accent=“false“ style=“text-transform:none!important;padding-bottom:10px;“]Prone Collapse Neck Lift[/x_custom_headline][cs_text class=“cs-ta-justify“]Honestly, to call it Prone Head Lift is a misnomer because you can’t actually effectively lift your head without grounding your ribcage onto the mat. And this is exactly what you can see in the picture: an ineffective lifting of the head by hyperextending the back of the neck, which unfortunately makes this exercise worthless and for that matter unhealthy. So, the exercise as it is visually presented in the photograph should rightfully rather be called “Prone Collapse Neck Lift”.[/cs_text][x_image type=“none“ src=“https://bodyhood.christopherrapp.at/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/ProneHeaden_web.jpg“ alt=““ link=“false“ href=“#“ title=““ target=““ info=“none“ info_place=“top“ info_trigger=“hover“ info_content=““][cs_text class=“cs-ta-justify“]Let us go through the exercise description.

In phase 1 of the so-called Prone Head Lift, it says: “Lie on your stomach, lengthen your legs and let your heels fall onto your sides to relax your gluteus.” So far so good.

In phase 2 it says: “Hands are under your forehead, the top of your head pulls forward, the Powerhouse is engaged and the lumbar spine is lengthening.”
Alright, but how for god sake are you going to engage your so-called Powerhouse to lengthen your lumbar spine? This is an essential point because from the position where your heels and gluteus are relaxed to the position of the engaged Powerhouse a lot of negative things can happen. For example, a posterior or anterior tilt of the pelvis causing the gluteus medius to be dominant instead of the desired gluteus maximus. And this is exactly what we see on the picture. And in this position there is no way that the so-called powerhouse can be utilized effectively – meaning that your Powerhouse can stabilize your lumbar spine.

Then in phase 3 it says: “Hands and forearms slightly press onto the mat. The crown of your head pulls forward and pulls your head and hand upward.”
What can I say, just look at the picture![/cs_text][x_image type=“none“ src=“https://bodyhood.christopherrapp.at/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/ProneHeaden_web.jpg“ alt=““ link=“false“ href=“#“ title=““ target=““ info=“none“ info_place=“top“ info_trigger=“hover“ info_content=““][cs_text class=“cs-ta-justify“]The cervical spine is collapsed and the gluteus medius is negatively engaged. Also the lifting via the elbows instead of the widening of the shoulder gridle causes the back of your neck to hyperextend. This further causes an extensive overwork in the upper trapezius instead of the lower trapezius and shoulder girdle stabilizers which are responsible for keeping your shoulders down – unfortunately, the position presented to us on the photo makes this is impossible.

So, how do we do the Prone Head Lift exercise successfully?[/cs_text][x_custom_headline level=“h2″ looks_like=“h3″ accent=“false“ style=“text-transform:none!important;padding-bottom:10px;“]Get rid of unaware movement[/x_custom_headline][x_image type=“none“ src=“https://bodyhood.christopherrapp.at/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/prone-head3_web.jpg“ alt=“Pilates Power Konzept Körper Geist Bewusstsein Training“ link=“false“ href=“#“ title=““ target=““ info=“none“ info_place=“top“ info_trigger=“hover“ info_content=““][cs_text class=“cs-ta-justify“]For this exercise to do what the title of the article “Strong & pain-free” suggests, the following mode of work needs to be employed

1. Establish a neutral pelvic position in the starting position of the Prone Head Lift. Your pelvis is neither tilted downwards nor upwards.
2. Keep your elbows on the mat and lift your head by lengthening your whole spine via your 7th cervical spine. This will give you a clear kinaesthetic awareness of the head-shoulder-girdle connection.
3. Activate your DMCS – deep muscle corset system – and shoulder girdle stabilizers, and release your ribcage to lift your head via your 7th cervical spine.
This procedure will completely eliminate the sinking and collapse of your neck and maintain the integrity of your body as a whole – the basic criterion for “strong & pain-free”.

I really want to point out in this blog that describing a form not necessarily describes its function. And that telling somebody what to do, but not how to do what to do, is a sure way to an unhealthy life style.[/cs_text][cs_element_quote _id=“22″ ][cs_text class=“cs-ta-justify“]Did you like our critical post today? What is your experience with exercise descriptions and body-mind integrity? We would love to hear from you.

As always, if you find our post useful and would like to share it with someone, we’d be forever grateful![/cs_text][cs_text class=“cs-ta-justify“]

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